Route 66 News

Proposed landfill irks residents north of Riverton

Some people north of Riverton, Kansas, are opposing the Galena’s acquisition of 40 acres that may be turned into a landfill, according to an article in the Joplin Globe.

At least one foe tried to play the tourism card:

As a member of the Sierra Club and a former member of the Pittsburg tourism board, Jackson said she’s concerned the proposed landfill would pollute Spring River, as well as deter tourists from visiting the area.

The distance from Highway 69A, also known as the Frontier Military Historic Byway, to the proposed site is 16 feet, she said.

“I also measured how far it is from Route 66,” Jackson said, adding it was less than two miles.

According to Google Street View, the area is here:

View Larger Map

Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby pointed out the proposed site needs an engineering study, plus approval by the Kansas Department of Health and the Environment, before it can proceed. That’s 18 to 24 months away. He also said such a site would reduce landfill costs for county residents; trash currently has to be hauled to Lamar, Missouri — a distance of about 50 miles.

Concerns about possible river pollution, an alleged lack of public input on the project, and it possibly affecting the quality of life of nearby residents seem legitimate and should be considered.

But implying the landfill would hurt tourism on Route 66 is ludicrous. The distance of the site from the Mother Road is far enough that travelers never would be aware of it unless a resident mentions it. It simply wouldn’t be visible to Route 66 travelers. In this case, two miles is as good as a hundred.

Using Route 66 tourism as a cudgel to oppose every little development, without considering whether such tourists could care or even see it, seems misguided and ignorant.


9 thoughts on “Proposed landfill irks residents north of Riverton

  1. Brandon Bowman

    I mostly agree with you – I think that environmental activists may be grasping at straws in attempting to use Route 66 as a reason to block the landfill, except for one potentially significant impact.  Landfills have lots and lots of heavy truck traffic every day that they’re open.  Those trucks will do a number of pavement, and would beat the aged Route 66 roadbed to pieces if they use the route as their primary means of getting loads from Galena and Riverton to the site.  They might also increase the potential for traffic accidents, especially if that section of the road is an old two-laner with no shoulders.

    I hope that the planner will examine this potential impact and direct truck traffic to other roads other that the Mother Road.  Other than that, if the site is environmentally appropriate, I say carry on, especially if it results in lower trash service fees.

    1. Diana Patterson

      And where do you live Brandon Bowman? Unless it is in Riverton, your opinion about our waste cost is is useless.

      1. Brandon Bowman

        Route 66 belongs to all of us, not just those who live nearby, Diana Patterson. If the best refutation you have for my statement is my opinion is valueless since I don’t live there, I question how much thought you’ve put to the subject.

    2. Holli Qualls

      I have lived off of Route 66 my entire 40 years, road my bike along it so many times to my grandparents home in Baxter Springs. Stopping for a picnic lunch on Rainbow bridge. I see hundreds of people visit our small quaint little “Old Riverton Store” from all over the world! Many motor cycle clubs. Have worked water stations for marathons along this very special road as well. To say that putting in a Landfill would not disturb this your only kidding yourself!!!! This will be a chemical hazard disposal site , along with trash dump. Huge dump trucks traveling in & out all hours of the day & night! Its sad that someone would care more about getting a discount on thier trash bill then preserving our History!!


    3. Diana Patterson

      Let me rephrase Brandon Bowman… None ya business and we don’t need your unsolicited opinions about OUR town.

      1. Brandon Bowman

        This isn’t your hometown newspaper website. I’ll put my opinion up here if I damn well please. If you don’t like it, Diana Patterson, go someplace else.

  2. Kinzie

    The health of the environment should be considered before the effect on tourism. Money is money, yeah, but in the end, what matters most is the health of the environment and people and animals that occupy it. There are better locations for this proposed landfill and better ways of going about implementing it.

  3. Trey

    Probably the worst written article I’ve read in a long time. The only thing “ignorant” here is the opinions of this journalist, Ron Warnick. If you would take the time and do some real journalism and real research you would know that it’s not JUST about the “mother road” it’s about the entire town surrounding it. Terrible amateur journalism at its finest.

  4. Dan Imming

    As reported by the Galena Sentinel-Times on July 9, 2014:

    “The property originally owned by Brad Clark was purchased through a Joplin (MO) attorney for Mr. Brian Jordan, who in turn gave the property to the City of Galena for landfill, WITH A PERPETUAL CONTRACT FOR OPERATION OF THE LANDFILL.” (my emphasis in CAPS)

    What has been left out of the reporting about this issue is that the 160 acres of land Mr. Jordan purchased through a Joplin, MO attorney (40 of those acres being dedicated to the actual landfill) was represented to Mr. Clark (the seller) as to being for future residential development (said the attorney). So much for transparency by the attorney acting on Mr. Jordan’s behalf. The hard question still unanswered is, “Why would Mr. Clark (the seller) have willingly sold 160 acres of land FOR A DUMP ACROSS THE HIGHWAY from HIS RESIDENCE?”

    Also reported by the Galena Sentinel-Times on July 9th:

    “(Galena) landfill committee members, Lance Nichols, Ashley Qualls and Linda Watkins recommended this action to the (Galena City) council (during the regular council meeting on Monday, July 7, 2014). ALL CONTRACTS AND ORDINANCES WERE ALREADY PREPARED PRIOR TO THE COUNCIL (meeting). The process for the approval of the landfill COULD TAKE AS LITTLE AS SIX MONTHS.” (my emphasis in CAPS) So much for transparency by the Galena Landfill Committee and Galena City Council. As a resident of Galena, KS, I can assure you that I DIDN’T ELECT ANY city official to get our municipality into a 20 year obligation to operate a landfill.

    Some other interesting tidbits about this story that seem to get overlooked:

    1. The property purchased by Mr. Jordan, then dedicated to the City of Galena in exchange for operation rights of a landfill IN PERPETUITY, doesn’t abut a single boundary of the City of Galena. The Mayor and City Council simply annexed the 160 acre “island” of property, dedicated by Mr. Jordan to the City (near Riverton, KS and MILES from the nearest city limit of Galena) on July 9, 2014. I wonder what would motivate a municipality of ~3,000 residents to take on the liabilty (reported to be ~$10,000,000) of a landfill when the Lamar (MO) landfill’s life is estimated to be at least another 30 years?

    2. Is it coincidence that Mr. Jordan’s company currently operates the EXISTING landfill operation INSIDE the city limits of Galena (for fees paid to the City for every ton dumped there)? Approximately 3 MILLION cubic yards of Joplin (MO) tornado debris was brought to the Galena landfill under Mr. Jordan’s stewardship – making someone a ton of money (no pun intended). Could there be another bonanza for the landfill operator at a new site?

    3. Why are public hearings on this matter to be held AFTER the fact? The City of Galena annexed the property on July 9, 2014 – this began the landfill approval process. The Galena Sentinel-Times reported that, “…The City then needs to submit the permit application to Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) which will review the application to make sure it is in compliance with Kansas Statutes and regulations. THERE WOULD THEN BE A PUBLIC COMMENT SESSION..” (my emphasis in CAPS). Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse, or more appropriately, the dump before the will of the people?

    4. Much has been made of trying to spin this fiasco into a “good deal” for the citizens of Galena and Cherokee County because Mr. Jordan would offer us a “discount”! My arithmetic is pretty good and I only have two questions for Mr. Jordan. First, I’m going to get a “discount”, BUT ON WHAT NEW AMOUNT YOU’LL BE CHARGING THE CITY OF GALENA. Second, the current Galena KS refuse bill is $12.68 per month per household (and that includes the 10% increase last month!). That equates to a WEEKLY trash bill of $2.96 PER WEEK. Mr. Jordan, I already know what my trash bill IS; what’s it going to be at YOUR dump? Seems to me you’d have already figured this amount to the penny – WHY DON’T YOU PUBLICIZE IT?

    This is much too long, but there is MUCH, MUCH more to come, Something stinks and it can’t be the dump, it’s fifty miles away according to the mayor.

    Dan Imming
    Galena KS resident living on Route 66

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